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JV Task-121 Electrochemical Synthesis of Nitrogen Fertilizers

Description: An electrolytic renewable nitrogen fertilizer process that utilizes wind-generated electricity, N{sub 2} extracted from air, and syngas produced via the gasification of biomass to produce nitrogen fertilizer ammonia was developed at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center. This novel process provides an important way to directly utilize biosyngas generated mainly via the biomass gasification in place of the high-purity hydrogen which is required for Haber Bosch-based production of the fertilizer for the production of the widely used nitrogen fertilizers. Our preliminary economic projection shows that the economic competitiveness of the electrochemical nitrogen fertilizer process strongly depends upon the cost of hydrogen gas and the cost of electricity. It is therefore expected the cost of nitrogen fertilizer production could be considerably decreased owing to the direct use of cost-effective 'hydrogen-equivalent' biosyngas compared to the high-purity hydrogen. The technical feasibility of the electrolytic process has been proven via studying ammonia production using humidified carbon monoxide as the hydrogen-equivalent vs. the high-purity hydrogen. Process optimization efforts have been focused on the development of catalysts for ammonia formation, electrolytic membrane systems, and membrane-electrode assemblies. The status of the electrochemical ammonia process is characterized by a current efficiency of 43% using humidified carbon monoxide as a feedstock to the anode chamber and a current efficiency of 56% using high-purity hydrogen as the anode gas feedstock. Further optimization of the electrolytic process for higher current efficiency and decreased energy consumption is ongoing at the EERC.
Date: November 30, 2008
Creator: Jiang, Junhua & Aulich, Ted

JV Task 122 - Assessment of Mercury Control Options for the San Miguel Electric Cooperative Power Plant

Description: In the United States, testing has been under way at electric coal-fired power plants to find viable and economical mercury control strategies to meet pending regulations. San Miguel Electric Cooperative (SMEC) engaged the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) through a request for proposal (RFP) to perform research tests to evaluate sorbent-based technologies at its coal-fired San Miguel Generating Station to identify possible technology options that could be used by SMEC to meet the mercury reduction requirements of future U.S. federal standards. The goal of the testing was to target a mercury removal of {ge}90%. The EERC has successfully field-tested several sorbent-based technologies in previous projects that offer promise and potential to achieve a target removal of {ge}90%. Based on these field test results, yet recognizing that fuel type and plant operating conditions affect mercury capture significantly, the EERC proposed research tests to evaluate potential sorbent-based technologies provided by Norit Americas and the EERC that could potentially meet SMEC's mercury control objectives. Over the period of May through mid-June 2008, the EERC tested injection of both treated and nontreated activated carbon (AC) provided by Norit Americas and sorbent enhancement additives (SEAs) provided by the EERC. Tests were performed at San Miguel Unit 1 (450 MW) and included injection at the inlet of the air heater (AH) (temperature of 720 F). The test coal was a Texas lignite fuel with an average moisture content of 31.19%, an ash content of 26.6%, a heating value of 5,094 Btu/lb, a sulfur content of 2.7%, and a mercury concentration of 0.182 ppm, all reported on an as-received basis. Pilot-scale testing results identified DARCO{reg_sign} Hg-LH, SEA2 + DARCO{reg_sign} Hg, and the ChemMod sorbents as technologies with the potential to achieve the target mercury removal of {ge}90% at the full-scale test. Mercury concentrations were tracked with ...
Date: February 1, 2009
Creator: Lentz, Nicholas; Pavlish, Brandon; Kay, John & Jones, Michael

JV Task-123 Determination of Trace Element Concentrations at an Eastern Bituminous Coal Plant Employing an SCR and Wet FGD

Description: The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), in partnership with Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) and with funding from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), conducting tests to prove that a high level of mercury control (>90%) can be achieved at a power plant burning a high-sulfur eastern bituminous coal. With funding from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), DOE, and Center for Air Toxic Metals{reg_sign} (CATM{reg_sign}) Affiliates Program, the EERC completed an additional sampling project to provide data as to the behavior of a number of trace elements across the various pollution control devices, with a special emphasis on the wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system. Results showed that the concentrations of almost all the elements of interest leaving the stack were very low, and a high percentage of the trace elements were captured in the electrostatic precipitator (ESP) (for most, >80%). Although, with a few exceptions, the overall mass balances were generally quite good, the mass balances across the wet FGD were more variable. This is most likely a result of some of the concentrations being very low and also the uncertainties in determining flows within a wet FGD.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Laudal, Dennis

JV Task 124 - Understanding Multi-Interactions of SO3, Mercury, Selenium, and Arsenic in Illinois Coal Flue Gas

Description: This project consisted of pilot-scale combustion testing with a representative Illinois basin coal to explore the multi-interactions of SO{sub 3}, mercury, selenium and arsenic. The parameters investigated for SO{sub 3} and mercury interactions included different flue gas conditions, i.e., temperature, moisture content, and particulate alkali content, both with and without activated carbon injection for mercury control. Measurements were also made to track the transformation of selenium and arsenic partitioning as a function of flue gas temperature through the system. The results from the mercury-SO{sub 3} testing support the concept that SO{sub 3} vapor is the predominant factor that impedes efficient mercury removal with activated carbon in an Illinois coal flue gas, while H{sub 2}SO{sub 4} aerosol has less impact on activated carbon injection performance. Injection of a suitably mobile and reactive additives such as sodium- or calcium-based sorbents was the most effective strategy tested to mitigate the effect of SO{sub 3}. Transformation measurements indicate a significant fraction of selenium was associated with the vapor phase at the electrostatic precipitator inlet temperature. Arsenic was primarily particulate-bound and should be captured effectively with existing particulate control technology.
Date: March 31, 2009
Creator: Zhuang, Ye; Martin, Christopher & Pavlish, John

Subtask 2.12 - Air Quality Assessment and Control

Description: Past particulate matter (PM) research projects conducted at the Energy & Environmental Research Center included data on PM size, morphology, and chemistry. The objective of this project was to improve automated analysis capabilities of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with an energy-dispersive spectrometer. The SEM is now able to perform particle-by-particle analysis on the desired number of particles and provide size, morphology, and chemistry information for each particle. A new x-ray and image analysis system was purchased and implemented for improvements to data acquisition and analysis. This new analysis system is equipped with a digital-pulse processor, allowing for the determination of pixel-by-pixel chemistry, which significantly enhances our ability to characterize PM and other materials. In addition, this system is personal computer-based, which allows programming of the SEM to perform the automated image analysis along with detailed chemical information. This permits the incorporation of particle classification algorithms within the same computer system as the analysis is conducted. Additionally, the new Spirit software can now integrate full SEM control with imaging, elemental identification, and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) operation. The EBSD system has also allowed for phase identification within the SEM. Reexamination of previous samples collected on a polycarbonate filter for ambient-air PM2.5 analysis has shown that crystalline identification of individual particles can be done without further sample preparation or modification of the sample and/or sampling substrate.
Date: July 30, 2007
Creator: Raymond, Laura

Subtask 2.13 - Advanced Hybrid Particulate Collector-Fundamental Performance

Description: Under the Power Plant Improvement Initiative Program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, a full-scale Advanced Hybrid{trademark} filter was installed at the Big Stone Plant, with start-up in October 2002. The Advanced Hybrid{trademark} filter was retrofitted into Fields 2-4 of the old Big Stone electrostatic precipitator (ESP). While many aspects of the operation were satisfactory, pressure drop was higher than expected. To achieve acceptable pressure drop and successfully demonstrate the Advanced Hybrid{trademark} filter technology, the first fields of the ESP were also converted into an Advanced Hybrid{trademark} filter in 2005. However, since start-up in June 2005, the first fields have been inoperable for multiple reasons. The fundamental cause of the dysfunctional performance of the first fields was attributed to spacing and alignment problems, which led to excessive sparking and shutdown of the high-voltage power. In spite of attempts to correct the problems, satisfactory performance of the first fields was never achieved. Because of the uncertainties of how to achieve acceptable performance with a new technology, the Big Stone Plant made the decision to convert the entire Advanced Hybrid{trademark} filter housing into a pulse-jet fabric filter.
Date: July 1, 2007
Creator: Miller, Stanley

Subtask 3.12 - Oxygen-Fired CFBC

Description: Traditionally, air is used as the source of oxygen for firing a combustion system. A fully oxygen-fired circulating fluidized-bed combustion (CFBC) system would result in the production of a flue gas stream consisting of mostly carbon dioxide and water. The concentrated carbon dioxide stream would be available for sequestering or other purposes. Temperatures in an oxygen-blown CFBC system would be controlled by a combination of flue gas recycle, solids recirculation, and by appropriately sizing and locating the amount of heat-transfer surface required. Flue gas recycle provides the additional gas required for adequate fluidization and circulation of solids replacing the nitrogen that would be present in an air-blown system. The amount of flue gas recycle will determine how much of the remaining heat from the coal combustion will have to be removed. If the amount of flue gas recycle required by increasing solids recirculation and oxygen staging is limited, introducing the pure oxygen at multiple locations in the combustor to result in a more even temperature profile should result in a more compact system, thus reducing initial capital costs for construction. The overall efficiency of the process should be greater than that of an air-blown system since less fuel is required for the creation of the same amount of energy. The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is in a unique position to advance this technology. It has a world-class CFBC pilot plant, has experience with firing a wide range of fuels in our air-fired CFBC pilot plant, has prior experience with oxygen-firing a slagging furnace system in a pulverized coal-fired mode with a bituminous coal, and has all of the components required for oxygen-firing right next to the CFBC pilot plant already in place. An engineering study was performed to identify methods, an overall appropriate configuration, and an operating strategy ...
Date: February 28, 2007
Creator: Hajicek, Douglas; Musich, Mark & Henderson, Ann

Subtask 3.16 - Low-BTU Field Gas Application to Microturbines

Description: Low-energy gas at oil production sites presents an environmental challenge to the sites owners. Typically, the gas is managed in flares. Microturbines are an effective alternative to flaring and provide on-site electricity. Microturbines release 10 times fewer NOx emissions than flaring, on a methane fuel basis. The limited acceptable fuel range of microturbines has prevented their application to low-Btu gases. The challenge of this project was to modify a microturbine to operate on gases lower than 350 Btu/scf (the manufacturer's lower limit). The Energy & Environmental Research Center successfully operated a Capstone C30 microturbine firing gases between 100-300 Btu/scf. The microturbine operated at full power firing gases as low as 200 Btu/scf. A power derating was experienced firing gases below 200 Btu/scf. As fuel energy content decreased, NO{sub x} emissions decreased, CO emissions increased, and unburned hydrocarbons remained less than 0.2 ppm. The turbine was self-started on gases as low as 200 Btu/scf. These results are promising for oil production facilities managing low-Btu gases. The modified microturbine provides an emission solution while returning valuable electricity to the oilfield.
Date: June 15, 2007
Creator: Schmidt, Darren & Oster, Benjamin

Subtask 4.4 - North Dakota Lignite Fuel Upgrading

Description: This project will add the capability for the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to conduct Fischer-Tropsch (FT) catalyst testing at a scale consistent with the benchscale continuous fluid-bed reactor. This capability will enable various vendors to test their FT catalysts on actual coal-derived syngas. The project goals were to also develop some EERC expertise with issues associated with FT liquid production. A study by Dr. Calvin Bartholmew at Brigham Young University (BYU) is further apparent that it is possible to build a single reactor (rather than multiple reactors of different sizes) consisting of three 1-inch-diameter, 10 foot-long tubes to accommodate the anticipated range of catalytic activities and process conditions. However, this single reactor should ideally be designed to operate over a significant range of recycle ratio (e.g., 1-10), temperature (25-400 C), pressure (10-25 bar), flow rate (1-6 scfm), and cooling duty (0.2-1.5 kW). It should have the flexibility of flowing gas to one, two, or three tubes. Based on the recommended design specifications provided by BYU while staying within the approved budget, the EERC decided to build a two fixed-bed reactor system with the capability to add a third reactor at a later time. This system was constructed to be modular and sized such that it can fit into the area around the EERC continuous fluid-bed reactor or also be located in explosion-rated areas such as the gasification tower next to the EERC pilot-scale transport reactor or in the National Center for Hydrogen Technology building high-bay area.
Date: March 15, 2009
Creator: Swanson, Michael

Subtask 7.1 - Strategic Studies

Description: The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has recently completed 11 years of research through the Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) focused on fossil energy technology development and demonstration. To support a significant number of the different activities being considered within all of our research contracts with NETL, a subtask (7.1 Strategic Studies) was created to focus on small research efforts that came up throughout the year which would support an existing EERC-NETL project or would help to develop a new concept for inclusion in future efforts. Typical efforts conducted under this task were usually between $15,000 and $60,000 in scope and had time lines of less than 6 months. A limited number of larger studies were also conducted, generally at the direct request of NETL. Over the life of this task, 46 projects were conducted. These efforts ranged from quick experiments to gain fundamental knowledge to support a current effort, to literature reviews, to a few larger engineering efforts.
Date: March 30, 2009
Creator: Erickson, Thomas

Subtask 7.3 - The Socioeconomic Impact of Climate Shifts in the Northern Great Plains

Description: The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) evaluated the water demand response/vulnerability to climate change factors of regional economic sectors in the northern Great Plains. Regardless of the cause of climatic trends currently observed, the research focused on practical evaluation of climate change impact, using water availability as a primary factor controlling long-term regional economic sustainability. Project results suggest that the Upper Missouri, Red River, and Upper Mississippi Watersheds exhibit analogous response to climate change, i.e., extended drought influences water availability in the entire region. The modified trend suggests that the next period for which the Red River Basin can expect a high probability of below normal precipitation will occur before 2050. Agriculture is the most sensitive economic sector in the region; however, analyses confirmed relative adaptability to changing conditions. The price of agricultural commodities is not a good indicator of the economic impact of climate change because production and price do not correlate and are subject to frequent and irregular government intervention. Project results confirm that high water demand in the primary economic sectors makes the regional economy extremely vulnerable to climatic extremes, with a similar response over the entire region. Without conservation-based water management policies, long-term periods of drought will limit socioeconomic development in the region and may threaten even the sustainability of current conditions.
Date: December 31, 2007
Creator: Solc, Jaroslav; Buckley, Tera & Simonsen, Troy

Subtask 7.4 - Power River Basin Subbituminous Coal-Biomass Cogasification Testing in a Transport Reactor

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory Office of Coal and Environmental Systems has as its mission to develop advanced gasification-based technologies for affordable, efficient, zero-emission power generation. These advanced power systems, which are expected to produce near-zero pollutants, are an integral part of DOE's Vision 21 Program. DOE has also been developing advanced gasification systems that lower the capital and operating costs of producing syngas for chemical production. A transport reactor has shown potential to be a low-cost syngas producer compared to other gasification systems since its high-throughput-per-unit cross-sectional area reduces capital costs. This work directly supports the Power Systems Development Facility utilizing the Kellogg Brown and Root transport reactor located at the Southern Company Services Wilsonville, Alabama, site. Over 3600 hours of operation on 17 different coals ranging from bituminous to lignite along with a petroleum coke has been completed to date in the pilot-scale transport reactor development unit (TRDU) at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC). The EERC has established an extensive database on the operation of these various fuels in both air- and oxygen-blown modes utilizing a pilot-scale transport reactor gasifier. This database has been useful in determining the effectiveness of design changes on an advanced transport reactor gasifier and for determining the performance of various feedstocks in a transport reactor. The effects of different fuel types on both gasifier performance and the operation of the hot-gas filter system have been determined. It has been demonstrated that corrected fuel gas heating values ranging from 90 to 130 Btu/scf have been achieved in air-blown mode, while heating values up to 230 Btu/scf on a dry basis have been achieved in oxygen-blown mode. Carbon conversions up to 90% have also been obtained and are highly dependent on the oxygen-coal ratio. Higher-reactivity (low-rank) coals appear ...
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Swanson, Michael & Laudal, Daniel

Application of RAD-BCG calculator to Hanford's 300 area shoreline characterization dataset

Description: Abstract. In 2001, a multi-agency study was conducted to characterize potential environmental effects from radiological and chemical contaminants on the near-shore environment of the Columbia River at the 300 Area of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site. Historically, the 300 Area was the location of nuclear fuel fabrication and was the main location for research and development activities from the 1940s until the late 1980s. During past waste handling practices uranium, copper, and other heavy metals were routed to liquid waste streams and ponds near the Columbia River shoreline. The Washington State Department of Health and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Surface Environmental Surveillance Project sampled various environmental components including river water, riverbank spring water, sediment, fishes, crustaceans, bivalve mollusks, aquatic insects, riparian vegetation, small mammals, and terrestrial invertebrates for analyses of radiological and chemical constituents. The radiological analysis results for water and sediment were used as initial input into the RAD-BCG Calculator. The RAD-BCG Calculator, a computer program that uses an Excel® spreadsheet and Visual Basic® software, showed that maximum radionuclide concentrations measured in water and sediment were lower than the initial screening criteria for concentrations to produce dose rates at existing or proposed limits. Radionuclide concentrations measured in biota samples were used to calculate site-specific bioaccumulation coefficients (Biv) to test the utility of the RAD-BCG-Calculator’s site-specific screening phase. To further evaluate site-specific effects, the default Relative Biological Effect (RBE) for internal alpha particle emissions was reduced by half and the program’s kinetic/allometric calculation approach was initiated. The subsequent calculations showed the initial RAD-BCG Calculator results to be conservative, which is appropriate for screening purposes.
Date: July 1, 2003
Creator: Antonio, Ernest J.; Poston, Ted M.; Tiller, Brett L. & Patton, Gene W.

Plutonium source isotopic analysis with up to 25 mm Pb shielding using the FRAM Isotopic Analysis Code.

Description: The FRAM Isotopics Analysis Code has been used to analyze plutonium spectra taken through very thick shielding. Three plutonium sources with 240Pu content of 6.6%, 9.7%, and 16.3% were measured with lead shielding thicknesses ranging from zero to 25.3 mm, in nominal increments of 1.6mm. Multiple spectra were taken for each sample at each shielding level, and the spectra were analyzed using FRAM V3.2. A new parameter set was developed to analyze spectra from zero to 25 mm lead. We will report on the accuracy capabilities of this parameter set.
Date: January 1, 2000
Creator: Hypes, Philip A.

Repair of overheating linear accelerator

Description: Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) is a proton accelerator that produces high energy particle beams for experiments. These beams include neutrons and protons for diverse uses including radiography, isotope production, small feature study, lattice vibrations and material science. The Drift Tube Linear Accelerator (DTL) is the first portion of a half mile long linear section of accelerator that raises the beam energy from 750 keV to 100 MeV. In its 31st year of operation (2003), the DTL experienced serious issues. The first problem was the inability to maintain resonant frequency at full power. The second problem was increased occurrences of over-temperature failure of cooling hoses. These shortcomings led to an investigation during the 2003 yearly preventative maintenance shutdown that showed evidence of excessive heating: discolored interior tank walls and coper oxide deposition in the cooling circuits. Since overheating was suspected to be caused by compromised heat transfer, improving that was the focus of the repair effort. Investigations revealed copper oxide flow inhibition and iron oxide scale build up. Acid cleaning was implemented with careful attention to protection of the base metal, selection of components to clean and minimization of exposure times. The effort has been very successful in bringing the accelerator through a complete eight month run cycle allowing an incredible array of scientific experiments to be completed this year (2003-2004). This paper will describe the systems, investigation analysis, repair, return to production and conclusion.
Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: Barkley, Walter; Baldwin, William; Bennett, Gloria; Bitteker, Leo; Borden, Michael; Casados, Jeff et al.

Progress on the Design and Fabrication of the MICE Focusing Magnets

Description: The Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) focusing solenoid magnets focus the muon beam within the MICE cooling channel on a liquid or solid absorber that is within the warm bore of solenoid. The focusing magnet has a warm bore of 470 mm. his magnet consists of two coils 210-mm long that is separated by an aluminum mandrel that is 200 mm long. Each of the coils has its own leads. The coils may be operated in either the non-flip mode (solenoid mode with both coils at the same polarity) or the lip mode (quadrupole focusing mode where both coils are at opposite polarity). This report describes the focusing solenoid magnet design that will be built by the vendor. The progress on the construction of the first of the focusing magnets will also be discussed in this report. Ultimately three of these magnets will be built. These magnets will be cooled using a pair 1.5 W (at 4.2 K) pulse tube coolers.
Date: October 19, 2009
Creator: Green, Michael A; Baynham, D. Elwyn; Bradshaw, Thomas W.; Cobb, John H.; Lau, Wing W. & Yang, Stephanie Q.

HER2 signaling pathway activation and response of breast cancer cells to HER2-targeting agents is dependent strongly on the 3D microenvironment

Description: Development of effective and durable breast cancer treatment strategies requires a mechanistic understanding of the influence of the microenvironment on response. Previous work has shown that cellular signaling pathways and cell morphology are dramatically influenced by three-dimensional (3D) cultures as opposed to traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayers. Here, we compared 2D and 3D culture models to determine the impact of 3D architecture and extracellular matrix (ECM) on HER2 signaling and on the response of HER2-amplified breast cancer cell lines to the HER2-targeting agents Trastuzumab, Pertuzumab and Lapatinib. We show that the response of the HER2-amplified AU565, SKBR3 and HCC1569 cells to these anti-HER2 agents was highly dependent on whether the cells were cultured in 2D monolayer or 3D laminin-rich ECM gels. Inhibition of {beta}1 integrin, a major cell-ECM receptor subunit, significantly increased the sensitivity of the HER2-amplified breast cancer cell lines to the humanized monoclonal antibodies Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab when grown in a 3D environment. Finally, in the absence of inhibitors, 3D cultures had substantial impact on HER2 downstream signaling and induced a switch between PI3K-AKT- and RAS-MAPKpathway activation in all cell lines studied, including cells lacking HER2 amplification and overexpression. Our data provide direct evidence that breast cancer cells are able to rapidly adapt to different environments and signaling cues by activating alternative pathways that regulate proliferation and cell survival, events that may play a significant role in the acquisition of resistance to targeted therapies.
Date: July 27, 2009
Creator: Weigelt, Britta; Lo, Alvin T; Park, Catherine C; Gray, Joe W & Bissell, Mina J

Ultrafast gigantic photo-response in charge-ordered organic salt (EDO-TTF)2PF6 on 10-fs time scales

Description: The initial dynamics of photo-induced phase transition in charge-ordered organic salt (EDO-TTF){sub 2}PF{sub 6} was investigated using 10-fs near-infrared laser pulses. We observed sub-20-fs gigantic photo-responses (|{Delta}R/R|>100%) due to intra-molecular vibration and a clear signature of a structural bottleneck ({approx}50 fs) for the first time.
Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Itatani, J.; Rini, M.; Cavalleri, A.; Onda, K.; Ishikawa, T.; Ogihara, S. et al.

Elements of an environmental decision support system for seasonal wetland salt management in a river basin subjected to water quality regulation

Description: Seasonally managed wetlands in the Grasslands Basin on the west-side of California's San Joaquin Valley provide food and shelter for migratory wildfowl during winter months and sport for waterfowl hunters during the annual duck season. Surface water supply to these wetlands contain salt which, when drained to the San Joaquin River during the annual drawdown period, can negatively impact water quality and cause concern to downstream agricultural riparian water diverters. Recent environmental regulation, limiting discharges salinity to the San Joaquin River and primarily targeting agricultural non-point sources, now also targets return flows from seasonally managed wetlands. Real-time water quality management has been advocated as a means of continuously matching salt loads discharged from agricultural, wetland and municipal operations to the assimilative capacity of the San Joaquin River. Past attempts to build environmental monitoring and decision support systems (EDSS's) to implement this concept have enjoyed limited success for reasons that are discussed in this paper. These reasons are discussed in the context of more general challenges facing the successful implementation of a comprehensive environmental monitoring, modelling and decision support system for the San Joaquin River Basin.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Quinn, N.W.T.

Multi-Modality Phantom Development

Description: Multi-modality imaging has an increasing role in the diagnosis and treatment of a large number of diseases, particularly if both functional and anatomical information are acquired and accurately co-registered. Hence, there is a resulting need for multi modality phantoms in order to validate image co-registration and calibrate the imaging systems. We present our PET-ultrasound phantom development, including PET and ultrasound images of a simple prostate phantom. We use agar and gelatin mixed with a radioactive solution. We also present our development of custom multi-modality phantoms that are compatible with PET, transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), MRI and CT imaging. We describe both our selection of tissue mimicking materials and phantom construction procedures. These custom PET-TRUS-CT-MRI prostate phantoms use agargelatin radioactive mixtures with additional contrast agents and preservatives. We show multi-modality images of these custom prostate phantoms, as well as discuss phantom construction alternatives. Although we are currently focused on prostate imaging, this phantom development is applicable to many multi-modality imaging applications.
Date: March 20, 2009
Creator: Huber, Jennifer S.; Peng, Qiyu & Moses, William W.

Combined U-Th/He and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of post-shield lavas from the Mauna Kea and Kohala volcanoes, Hawaii

Description: Late Quaternary, post-shield lavas from the Mauna Kea and Kohala volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii have been dated using the {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar and U-Th/He methods. The objective of the study is to compare the recently demonstrated U-Th/He age method, which uses basaltic olivine phenocrysts, with {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ages measured on groundmass from the same samples. As a corollary, the age data also increase the precision of the chronology of volcanism on the Big Island. For the U-Th/He ages, U, Th and He concentrations and isotopes were measured to account for U-series disequilibrium and initial He. Single analyses U-Th/He ages for Hamakua lavas from Mauna Kea are 87 {+-} 40 ka to 119 {+-} 23 ka (2{sigma} uncertainties), which are in general equal to or younger than {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ages. Basalt from the Polulu sequence on Kohala gives a U-Th/He age of 354 {+-} 54 ka and a {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar age of 450 {+-} 40 ka. All of the U-Th/He ages, and all but one spurious {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ages conform to the previously proposed stratigraphy and published {sup 14}C and K-Ar ages. The ages also compare favorably to U-Th whole rock-olivine ages calculated from {sup 238}U - {sup 230}Th disequilibria. The U-Th/He and {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar results agree best where there is a relatively large amount of radiogenic {sup 40}Ar (>10%), and where the {sup 40}Ar/{sup 36}Ar intercept calculated from the Ar isochron diagram is close to the atmospheric value. In two cases, it is not clear why U-Th/He and {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ages do not agree within uncertainty. U-Th/He and {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar results diverge the most on a low-K transitional tholeiitic basalt with abundant olivine. For the most alkalic basalts with negligible olivine phenocrysts, U-Th/He ages were unattainable while {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Aciego, S.M.; Jourdan, F.; DePaolo, D.J.; Kennedy, B.M.; Renne, P.R. & Sims, K.W.W.

A comparison of global optimization algorithms with standard benchmark functions and real-world applications using Energy Plus

Description: There is an increasing interest in the use of computer algorithms to identify combinations of parameters which optimise the energy performance of buildings. For such problems, the objective function can be multi-modal and needs to be approximated numerically using building energy simulation programs. As these programs contain iterative solution algorithms, they introduce discontinuities in the numerical approximation to the objective function. Metaheuristics often work well for such problems, but their convergence to a global optimum cannot be established formally. Moreover, different algorithms tend to be suited to particular classes of optimization problems. To shed light on this issue we compared the performance of two metaheuristics, the hybrid CMA-ES/HDE and the hybrid PSO/HJ, in minimizing standard benchmark functions and real-world building energy optimization problems of varying complexity. From this we find that the CMA-ES/HDE performs well on more complex objective functions, but that the PSO/HJ more consistently identifies the global minimum for simpler objective functions. Both identified similar values in the objective functions arising from energy simulations, but with different combinations of model parameters. This may suggest that the objective function is multi-modal. The algorithms also correctly identified some non-intuitive parameter combinations that were caused by a simplified control sequence of the building energy system that does not represent actual practice, further reinforcing their utility.
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: Kamph, Jerome Henri; Robinson, Darren & Wetter, Michael

Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse-gas Emissions

Description: The aim of commissioning new buildings is to ensure that they deliver, if not exceed, the performance and energy savings promised by their design. When applied to existing buildings, commissioning identifies the almost inevitable 'drift' from where things should be and puts the building back on course. In both contexts, commissioning is a systematic, forensic approach to quality assurance, rather than a technology per se. Although commissioning has earned increased recognition in recent years - even a toehold in Wikipedia - it remains an enigmatic practice whose visibility severely lags its potential. Over the past decade, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has built the world's largest compilation and meta-analysis of commissioning experience in commercial buildings. Since our last report (Mills et al. 2004) the database has grown from 224 to 643 buildings (all located in the United States, and spanning 26 states), from 30 to 100 million square feet of floorspace, and from $17 million to $43 million in commissioning expenditures. The recorded cases of new-construction commissioning took place in buildings representing $2.2 billion in total construction costs (up from 1.5 billion). The work of many more commissioning providers (18 versus 37) is represented in this study, as is more evidence of energy and peak-power savings as well as cost-effectiveness. We now translate these impacts into avoided greenhouse gases and provide new indicators of cost-effectiveness. We also draw attention to the specific challenges and opportunities for high-tech facilities such as labs, cleanrooms, data centers, and healthcare facilities. The results are compelling. We developed an array of benchmarks for characterizing project performance and cost-effectiveness. The median normalized cost to deliver commissioning was $0.30/ft2 for existing buildings and $1.16/ft2 for new construction (or 0.4% of the overall construction cost). The commissioning projects for which data are available revealed over 10,000 energy-related problems, resulting ...
Date: July 16, 2009
Creator: Mills, Evan

Global Cooling: Policies to Cool the World and Offset Global Warming from CO2 Using Reflective Roofs and Pavements

Description: Increasing the solar reflectance of the urban surface reduce its solar heat gain, lowers its temperatures, and decreases its outflow of thermal infrared radiation into the atmosphere. This process of 'negative radiative forcing' can help counter the effects of global warming. In addition, cool roofs reduce cooling-energy use in air conditioned buildings and increase comfort in unconditioned buildings; and cool roofs and cool pavements mitigate summer urban heat islands, improving outdoor air quality and comfort. Installing cool roofs and cool pavements in cities worldwide is a compelling win-win-win activity that can be undertaken immediately, outside of international negotiations to cap CO{sub 2} emissions. We propose an international campaign to use solar reflective materials when roofs and pavements are built or resurfaced in temperate and tropical regions.
Date: August 28, 2009
Creator: Akbari, Hashem; Levinson, Ronnen; Rosenfeld, Arthur & Elliot, Matthew